Dealing with conflict in Sudan
Médecins Sans Frontières in Sudan provides lifesaving and impartial medical care to all those who need it, based on medical need alone. Currently, they cannot move due to the intensity of the conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Force. Intense fighting has caught civilians in the crossfire and cut communities off from healthcare. In many areas, (MSF) staff are also trapped by the violence.

Since 15 April, intense fighting In Darfur has also been taking place. Cyrus Paye, MSF’s Project Coordinator in El Fasher has said: “The majority of the wounded are civilians who have been caught in the crossfire – among them are many children. They have extremely serious injuries and, until Saturday afternoon, there was no surgical capacity in this hospital. All other hospitals in North Darfur have had to close – either due to their proximity to the fighting, or due to the inability of staff to get to the facilities because of the violence. This has meant that there was nowhere for us to refer patients to for treatment. As a result, 11 people died from their injuries in the first 48 hours of the conflict. However, a small team of surgeons from the hospitals that had to close, began carrying out surgical interventions in this hospital. So far, they have carried out six major surgeries on people wounded by the violence. However, the hospital is rapidly running out of medical supplies, including medicines and blood to treat survivors. Due to the conflict, the airport has been closed since Saturday, and it is vital that it is re-opened so that we can bring in additional medical supplies and possibly an MSF surgical team to support the surgeons who are currently at work. Without these vital supplies, there will be further loss of life.”

Elsewhere in the country, and especially in Khartoum, Darfur, North Kordofan and Gedaref states, MSF teams face serious challenges. Premises have been looted, including one MSF warehouse. In Khartoum, most MSF teams are trapped by the ongoing heavy fighting and are unable to access warehouses to deliver vital medical supplies to hospitals. Even ambulances are being turned back; they are not being permitted to retrieve the bodies of the dead from the streets, or to transport those who have been injured to hospital. Due to the ongoing violence many people also cannot reach any of the health facilities that are open and fear that if they do so, they will be risking their safety.

MSF is making an urgent call for civilians to be protected from the ongoing indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks that are taking place. They urge all parties to the conflict to guarantee safety for medical staff and patients, so that they can access healthcare facilities without fearing for their lives.

A closing thought…………
Peace is not the product of terror or fear. Peace is not the silence of cemeteries. Peace is not the silent result of violent repression. Peace is the generous, tranquil contribution of all to the good of all. Peace is dynamism. Peace is generosity.
It is right and it is duty.
Oscar Romero